It's been a couple of weeks since my last post but I've found my thoughts straying back (on more than one occasion) to the issue mentioned in the last posting - that of the burgeoning new web tools that are emerging at speeds too fast for us to keep up, and in the process leaving far far behind the majority of schools in India that are still only awakening (or still oblivious) to the possibilities of the internet.
The Hindu carried an article earlier this week on Cool classroom tools that discussed the phenomenon of podcasting, its use in education and the Duke Digital Initiative as a case in point. Would I come across as too much of a cynic if I said that there is little point in even running such an article in India? "...A school or college in India (reaching out) to its students in a new meaningful and cool way and (creating) a whole new educational iPod lifestyle." Give me a break! The very idea of students and teachers creating audio and video content for streaming onto portable devices just seems light years away in any educational setting in India - heck! even the use of regular audio and video remain untapped technologies in classrooms here! (May I add though that I would, of course, be thrilled to bits if some school in India actually took podcasting for a whirl...)
For more on emerging technologies in education, sans the attendant pessimism and cynicism that have marked my recent ramblings, visit the course website for T561 (Emerging Educational Technologies) being offered at HGSE this Spring by good ole' Prof. Chris Dede (who I was fortunate to have as my Advisor for my Masters) - a true "tech in ed" visionary esp. with respect to technologies that "bridge distance and time." Topics include podcasting, MUVEs, Social Networking, Collaborative Synchronous and Asynchronous Learning Environments and a host of other fun stuff.
And with that I lay this theme to rest (at least for now) and move on to other (less depressing?) topics.
I think I will turn my attention to sharing some insights gleaned from my recent experiences in developing a Technology Plan for a school - a very worthwhile activity that I am quite sure few schools in India engage in...[wry smile]... or perhaps my thoughts on GIS that I am working (with the Geography and Environmental Science teachers and a local GIS SIG) to introduce in the MAIS middle/high school curriculum.
(Think I should change the tagline of this blog to "Musings of a US-educated Indian Cynic"?)